President Joe Biden's chief adviser on alcohol policy said his agency may issue new guidelines that limit Americans to just two drinks per week.
Dr. George Koob, the director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), told the Daily Mail that he's interested in tightening U.S. guidelines to match Canada's alcohol recommendations, which say that both men and women should consider having only two drinks every week. Canada's health department issued the recommendations this year under left-wing Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
The NIAAA currently recommends that non-pregnant women have at most one drink per day and that men have at most two. A "drink" is equivalent to one beer, one glass of wine, or one shot, according to the agency. Those guidelines, however, are up for review in 2025, prompting Koob's remarks.
If alcohol consumption guidelines "go in any direction, it would be toward Canada," Koob told the Daily Mail. While some studies have shown that moderate red wine consumption may reduce the risk of cancer and improve heart health, Koob said that consuming alcohol increases the likelihood of cancer and has no health benefits.
While Koob has served as NIAAA director under multiple presidents, his comments mirror the Biden administration's push for increased regulations. Richard Trumka Jr., whom Biden appointed to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, said in January that banning gas stoves is "on the table." While White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre denied that the president supports such a ban, Biden's Energy Department in February proposed a rule that would effectively ban half of all gas stoves on the market, the Washington Free Beacon reported. The administration in July proposed another rule that would ban nearly all portable gas generators.
Republicans tore into the alcohol proposal, with Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Texas) telling Fox News that "Democrats are trying to control every aspect of your life." Rep. Tim Burchett (R., Tenn.), who does not drink, said that it's an example of "overpaid unelected bureaucrats sticking their fat noses somewhere it does not belong."
Jean-Pierre on Monday dismissed a reporter's question about Koob's comments, though she would not say whether the administration supports such a proposal.
"Where is this coming from?" Jean-Pierre said to Fox News's Peter Doocy. When Doocy cited Koob's remarks, Jean-Pierre said, "I have no idea. I've not seen the data. I cannot speak to this. I will leave it to the experts."
"So if the experts say two beers a week," Doocy asked, "that's OK with President Biden?"
"I will leave it to the experts," Jean-Pierre said. "I'm just not going to comment on that."